Wall St will open close to record when Biden takes office; Netflix flies

(Reuters) – Major Wall Street indices were expected to open near all-time highs on Wednesday as Joe Biden prepared to take over as president of the United States, while Netflix jumped after saying it won’t need to borrow anymore. billions of dollars to finance its TV shows and movies.

Shares of the world’s largest streaming service rose 13% in pre-market trading, helping to strengthen futures following the broader Nasdaq 100 technology index.

US equities closed higher on Tuesday after Treasury Secretary candidate Janet Yellen urged lawmakers to “act big” to save the coronavirus-ravaged economy and worry about debt later.

Biden, who is expected to take office as the 46th president of the United States on Wednesday shortly after noon (17:00 GMT), will be wasting little time turning the page on the Trump era, advisers said, signing a series of 15 executive actions on issues that they go from the COVID-19 pandemic to the economy to climate change.

Betting on a broader pandemic relief plan and higher infrastructure spending under the Biden administration and a Democrat-controlled US Congress were key in bringing major US equity indices to all-time highs this month.

“It’s about the grand opening, focusing first on Biden’s placement in the office and then on the earnings,” said Robert Pavlik, senior portfolio manager at Dakota Wealth in Fairfield, Connecticut.

“Earnings so far from the banks came in much better than expected and the markets reacted rather positively. “

Conclusion of quarterly reports from Morgan Stanley was up about 2% after posting a better-than-expected quarterly profit based on its trading activity and confirming a $ 10 billion share buyback plan.

According to data from Refinitiv, S&P 500 companies’ earnings are expected to rise 24% in 2021 after falling 15% in 2020. With stock market valuations close to a 20-year high, investors are hoping that corporate results and profit prospects help them determine to what extent valuations are justified.

At 08:13 ET, the Dow E-minis was up 58 points, or 0.19%, and the S&P 500 E-mini was up 16.25 points, or 0.43%. Nasdaq 100 E-minis were up 120 points, or 0.92%.

UnitedHealth Group Inc slid 0.5% after quarterly health insurance profit plunged nearly 38%, weighted by costs related to its programs to make COVID-19 testing and treatment more accessible to its customers.

Procter & Gamble Co gained 1.4% after consumer goods giant raised its full-year sales forecast for the second time as it benefited from strong demand for its cleaning products and government stimulus program.

Boeing Co gained 0.9% after Berenberg upgraded stock to “hold” from “Selling”, saying the worst is over and the restart of 737 MAX aircraft deliveries in December marked a turning point towards the planemaker financial recovery.

Reporting of Devik Jain in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V